Short and Sweet #14: 5 Steps to help your interview process

3 months ago, David Sweet


Welcome to this episode of Short and Sweet where I’m going to give you 5 steps to help your interview process become the best it can be.

Some small companies, don’t have processes in place they just wing it, or they don’t have a HR person to help guide them into that practice. So if you’re in this category this video is for you.

Step #1 is have that process documented and written down, so that everybody knows what the process is. HR knows what the process is, the managers know what the process is and what their part is in it, what questions will be asked in the process, and then at what point you’ll give an offer to your candidate. For the processes that you’re documenting, use the process you have now; write it down, and see what you’re doing, and see if there’s any improvements that you can make.

Step #2: after you’ve documented the process, write down what you want for your employee. What are the skillsets you must have, or the skillsets you would like to have? Each company has a different set of skillsets and each job has a different set of skillsets. Write down the 4 or 5 that are most important for this job. From there, think through what questions and what answers you would be expecting to have from these candidates. Preparing ahead of time good questions and what acceptable answers are, will help you better evaluate the acceptability of the candidate and help you select the best candidate for the job.

Step 3: the questions that will help you dive deeper into your candidate’s background. Here’s a few easy questions that you can ask: what were you hired to do? What were you accomplishments? What were your failures? And what did you learn from them? What was the team like? Why did you choose to leave the company? Ask those 5 simple questions, and listen for the answers, ask follow up questions, and really dive deeper to what the candidate’s answers are.

Stef 4: threat of a reference check; or TORC as Brad and Jeff Smart say in their book Topgrading. The threat of a reference check, will more readily help you dive deeper into the candidate’s motivations and their telling you the truth of what they have accomplished. It’s done very very simply; you tell the candidate, “We’re a professional company, and we’d like to take up some references, if I talk to your last supervisor, what would they say that you did well? What would they say that you need to improve on?” Just those 2 simple questions will help give you insights to the candidate’s skills that you may not have otherwise gotten.

Step 5, which I feel is the most important, is actually take up and do those reference checks yourself. This is an important step for managers, even busy managers of businesses. Don’t leave this step to HR or to recruitment agencies, take the references yourself. There are certain questions you can and can’t ask with previous employers, but  you can listen to the tone of the voice and how that previous manager acts. It will really give you insights to what the person you’re thinking about hiring, and their background is like. So many companies just skip this step all together, and have a lot of hiring mistakes because of that.

So there are 5 steps you can take as a small business owner, to help improve your interview process, whether you have a HR team or not, whether you’re doing this yourself or not. These steps will really help you make less hiring mistakes and bring people on board quality people for you and your business.